Monday, December 22, 2014

Azziz among 14 named to America’s Top Doctors list

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Georgia Regents University President Dr. Ricardo Azziz is one of 14 Georgia Regents Medical Center physicians named to the 2013 list of America’s Top Doctors,® a national patient reference guide published by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. that identifies the top 1 percent of physicians in the nation by specialty.

CCTopDocLogoGeorgia Regents Medical Center is the only hospital in the Augusta-Aiken area with physicians on the list, and most of the doctors, who also serve on the faculty at GRU’s Medical College of Georgia, have been America’s Top Doctors for more than a decade.

Azziz, who specializes in Reproductive Endocrinology and Surgery, has clinical and research interests in endoscopic pelvic reconstruction and reproductive endocrinologic disorders in women, particularly androgen excess, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, non-classic adrenal hyperplasia and hirsutism. Azziz also serves as CEO of the Georgia Regents Health System.

Besides Azziz, the list includes:

Dr. Sharad A. Ghamande, Gynecology/Oncology:  Ghamande is Professor and Chief of the Section of Gynecologic Oncology. His clinical and research interests include robotic surgery for gynecologic cancers, the role of folate receptors in ovarian cancer treatment, and chemotherapy trials, including Phase I trials. Ghamande is also principal investigator for the Georgia Gynecologic Oncology Group, funded by the National Cancer Institute to study innovative approaches to preventing and treating pelvic malignancies including those of the ovaries, cervix, vagina, uterus and vulva.

Dr. David C. Hess, Neurology:  Hess is Professor, Chairman of the MCG Department of Neurology and Co-Director of the GRU Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute. His research focuses on novel treatments for acute ischemic stroke, including cell and restorative therapies. He helped develop REACH Health, Inc., established in Georgia and now in use across the country, enabling stroke specialists to consult with rural health care providers via telemedicine.

Dr. Walter J. Moore, Rheumatology:  Moore is a Professor in the Section of Rheumatology and Adult Allergy and MCG’s Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Veterans Affairs.  He treats inflammatory soft-tissue and connective-tissue disorders and researches Patient- and Family-Centered Care and patient education.

Dr. Julian J. Nussbaum, Ophthalmology and Vitreo-Retinal Disorders: Nussbaum is Professor and Chairman of the MCG Department of Ophthalmology; Co-Director of GRU’s James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute; and Assistant Dean for Ambulatory Care Services. He treats diabetic eye disease, age-related macular degeneration, and other degenerative and vascular disorders of the retina.

Dr. Dennis R. Ownby,* Allergy-Immunology: Ownby formerly held the Betty B. Wray Chair and served as the Chief of the Section of Allergy, Immunology, Rheumatology in the MCG Department of Pediatrics. His interests include risk factors for developing asthma in childhood, latex allergy and diagnostic tests. Ownby now works part-time studying why early exposure to cats, dogs and other animals reduces the risk of allergy and asthma in children.

Dr. Gregory N. Postma, Voice and Swallowing Disorders: Postma is Professor and Director of the Center for Voice, Airway and Swallowing Disorders. He treats voice disorders (including those of professional singers), swallowing disorders, airway disorders, gastroesophageal reflux and chronic cough. He helped pioneer in-office surgery and also researches extraesophageal reflux and swallowing disorders.

Dr. Satish S. C. Rao, Gastroenterology: Rao is a Professor, Chief of the Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Director of the Digestive Health Center. His research focuses on the pathophysiology and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, fecal incontinence and visceral pain, particularly esophageal chest pain. Rao has pioneered biofeedback therapy for dyssynergic defecation and several techniques for evaluating esophageal, gastric, colonic, and anorectal function, in particular the brain-gut axis.

Dr. Kapil D. Sethi, Neurology:  Sethi is Professor and Director of the Movement Disorders Program.  His clinical interests include movement disorders and botulinum toxin injections. His research interests include identifying better therapies for Parkinson’s disease, Dystonia, and other movement disorders.

Dr. Sandra G. B. Sexson,* Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:  Sexson is Professor and Chief of the Section of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry in the MCG Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior.  She specializes in psychosocial aspects of children and adolescents with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis and cancer.  Her research interests include pediatric oncology, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and school continuity for ill children. She is a national leader in psychiatric education.

Dr. Robert A. Sorrentino, Cardiac Electrophysiology: Sorrentino is the Creel Professor of Medicine and Director of the Heart Rhythm Center. He evaluates and treats patients with heartbeat abnormalities, fainting and assesses patient’s risks for cardiac arrest.  He has particular expertise in the implantation and management of pacemakers, defibrillators, biventricular ICDs and laser-assisted extraction of pacemaker or defibrillator wires.

Dr. David J. Terris, Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery:  Terris is Professor and Chairman of the MCG Department of Otolaryngology, holding the Porubsky Distinguished Chair in Otolaryngology. He performs robotic and minimally invasive thyroid and parathyroid surgery. He investigates innovative surgical techniques for thyroid and parathyroid tumors and helped pioneer a technique that eliminates a visible scar.

Dr. Martha K. Terris, Urology: Terris is Professor and Chief of the Section of Urology, holding the Witherington Distinguished Chair in Urology. She also serves on the urology faculty at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She performs open, laparoscopic and robotic surgery to treat kidney, bladder and prostate cancer. She also performs nerve-sparing prostatectomy and radical cystectomy with neobladder (creating a new bladder out of intestine).

Dr. Jack C. Yu,* Pediatric Plastic Surgery:  Yu is the Milford B. Hatcher Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Section of Plastic Surgery. He is Director of the Craniofacial Center at Children’s Hospital of Georgia and performs cleft lip, cleft palate, and craniosynostosis corrections as well as aesthetic surgeries such as facelift, blepharoplasty, lip augmentation and rhinoplasty. He is the Editor of the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal and his research focuses on stem cell therapy in ischemia-reperfusion and the anti-inflammatory effects of whole body vibration therapy.

Three of these physicians – Ghamande, David Terris and Martha Terris – were also named to America’s Top Doctors for Cancer® in 2013, ranking in the top 1 percent of cancer doctors in the nation.

In addition, Castle Connolly this year released its inaugural list of Regional Top Doctors, or those recognized as the top 10 percent in their specialty by region. The 25 GRMC physicians to make this list include:

  1. Dr. John P. Affronti, Gastroenterology
  2. Dr. Amy R. Blanchard, Pulmonary Disease
  3. Dr. Paul C. Browne, Maternal and Fetal Medicine
  4. Dr. Edward Chin, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  5. Dr. Haroon F. Choudhri, Neurological Surgery
  6. Dr. Norman B. Chutkan, Orthopaedic Surgery
  7. Dr. Preston D. Conger, Cardiovascular Disease
  8. Dr. Raymond S. Corpe, Orthodpaedic Surgery
  9. Dr. Loretta M. Davis, Dermatology
  10. Dr. Michael A. Edwards, Surgery
  11. Dr. David B. Flannery, Clinical Genetics*
  12. Dr. Ian M. Heger, Pediatric Neurological Surgery*
  13. Dr. Christopher P. Houk, Pediatric Endocrinology*
  14. Dr. Coleman T. King, Internal Medicine
  15. Dr. Stilianos E. Kountakis, Otolaryngology
  16. Dr. Lawrence C. Layman, Reproductive Endocrinology
  17. Dr. Sheldon E. Litwin, Cardiovascular Disease
  18. Dr. William A. Lutin, Pediatric Cardiology*
  19. Dr. Bernard Maria, Pediatrics*
  20. Dr. Anthony L. Mulloy, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  21. Dr. Laura L. Mulloy, Nephrology
  22. Dr. Clay N. Stallworth, Pediatrics*
  23. Dr. Dilip A. Thomas, Ophthalmology
  24. Dr. Henry B. Wiles, Pediatric Cardiology*
  25. Dr. James J. Wynn, Surgery

Published annually by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., the America’s Top Doctors guides are based on nominations from tens of thousands of doctors and healthcare executives across the country. A physician-led research team then reviews the credentials of each nominated doctor before the Castle Connolly selection team makes the final choices.

The most important criterion for physician selection is excellence in patient care. Other criteria include experience, education, board-certification, fellowships, hospital affiliation, medical school faculty appointments, honors and awards, and professional reputation.

About Castle Connolly
Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. is America’s trusted source for identifying top doctors. Founded in 1991 by John K. Castle, (Chairman) and John J. Connolly, Ed.D. (President and CEO), who served as board chairman, President and CEO of New York Medical College, respectively, its mission is to help consumers find the best healthcare. They achieve that mission through their consumer guides such as America’s Top Doctors their web site and various consumer and business-oriented print and online partnerships. Under the direction of its physician-led research team, Castle Connolly surveys tens of thousands of physicians and hospital executives in order to identify, screen, and, ultimately, select those physicians regarded by their peers as leaders – among the very best in their specialties and for specific diseases and techniques. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be included in any Castle Connolly guide or online directory. Learn more at

*Children’s Hospital of Georgia physicians

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